There are several ways to spot a Grand County Local. You’ll know when you’re driving behind one because we’re rarely in a hurry. With all this beautiful GC scenery to take in, why would anyone be in a rush? Our vehicles are usually equipped with ski gear, snowshoes and similar gear in the winter months. In warmer months we regularly carry our fishing and camping items onboard, ready to play in God’s country at a moment’s notice. And speaking of vehicles, a true local may not have the newest or cleanest vehicle, but they are practical, equipped to explore any backcountry off-road.

Unless it’s an emergency, a local won’t commute round trip to the big city on a Friday when tourist traffic is at its worst, nor will they shop the grocery stores during said times. A GC local will have at least one dog and will find a way to take them to work. Our dogs are rarely leashed, children freely run about our towns and backways, but in a respectful way. A local won’t hesitate to pick up a hitchhiker on a cold windy day, and they will most definitely give their neighbor the shirts off their backs if needed.

Most locals know the ins and outs of the county. They know the best fishing holes, best trails, hunting spots, have all the best fish stories, know backway shortcuts, and unless they are dead set against using the internet, heavily rely on the Grand County On-Line Garage Sale Facebook page for finding everything from A to Z.

The Grand County On-Line Garage Sale page is a buy/sell page created in 2012 by local Ellarae Watson who owns and operates a small property management company in Granby with her husband. The couple often came across items that property owners discarded and saw a good opportunity to sell and or give items to people and organizations within the community.

Initially the page was public with a few hundred members. As word spread its membership grew. Valuable information on road closures, fire dangers and community events were shared. Over the years the page grew to a couple thousand members and suddenly the page became unmanageable. Shaw enlisted the help of volunteers to help her manage the page.

Fast forward to 2020 and the GCOLGS now has nearly 18K members including business owners who promote their services and products. The page is known as the primary go-to for county news and information. If multiple sirens race through towns the cause is almost always shared on the page by members and other pages like the GC Sheriff’s page. Need a good sleep remedy, want to prevent chronic heartburn or wonder whose cows are tromping through your garden? Chances are the answers are on the garage sale page.

As with any social page with a decent number of members the group started veering away from its original buy/sell format. While page ground rules had long been established, members became accustom to using the page for social chat, took liberties in airing personal vendettas and grievances against community members. Profanity and cyberbullying increased among members and frequent business posts overshadowed individuals trying to buy or sell items. Behind the scenes page admins saw an increased amount of spam, porn pages and what appeared to be terrorist organizations who wanted page and member access. They also experienced serious, credible threats from members whose posts were removed, or memberships terminated.

The page now has two admins who recently made the decision to take the page back to its roots and make it a private group, greatly reducing the amount of spam and unwanted member requests. It is restricted to Grand County residents and no longer allows those outsides of GC to sell their goods or promote their business.

Admins now use advance Facebook tools which alert them to rule violations and can even prevent certain posts. Admins have reported a slight decrease in post-activity over the past weeks due to new rule enforcement but continue to receive daily requests for membership. They’ve also received personal messages from members thanking them for keeping the page “safe” and returning it to its original “fun-spirited” buy/sell format.

Because the page is now private, only existing members can invite new members. If you’re looking to buy, sell or find out what’s happening in Grand County, the Grand County On-Line Garage Sale Facebook page is still the best place for those needs.

Tracy Navarrete